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3 Muskebears, 22 Brave Volunteers, raising funds for 3 charities!

Earlier this year, we informed our members about a challenge set by Jess Hiles, daughter of Jo Allmond. Many of our members know Jess, as she co-writes Jess, The Goth Fairy books and she is a volunteer for Safe Place Shropshire. She is also one of our members and has been a guest speaker at our meetings. Each year Jess sets a challenge to raise money for charity.

This year, monies raised will go to 3 charities that are very special to Jess! So what is the challenge?


On Saturday 6th October, 22 brave volunteers, together with the 3 Muskebears (Cuddles, Alfie and Murphy) are to ride the longest zip wire in Europe – the Titan Zip Wire in North Wales! 

The charities who will benefit are:

  • MacIntyre – a national charity that has been providing support to people with learning disabilities for 50 years
  • Guide Dogs – a national charity that supports blind and partially sighted people to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else
  • Shropshire Disability Network (SDN) – We thank Jess, for choosing us.

To read more about the challenge and to sponsor on-line, click this link:

How can you help? 

  • Sponsorship. If you would like a sponsorship form to get, please contact [email protected] or call/text 07780 852229
  • Sponsoring: Every £1 will help Jess, reach her target of £1500, enabling each charity to receive £500
  • Promoting: Share this news item with friends and families and tell people about it.
  • Support on the day: We would like many people to come along on Saturday 6th October to cheer those taking part.

For further information, please contact Ann, our secretary by email [email protected] or call 07398 350 255


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Come and hear Abby tell her story at our AGM on 6th September 2018

Shropshire Disability Network extends a warm invitation to you to join us for our AGM and Quarterly meeting on Thursday 6th September at the University Centre, Frankwell, Shrewsbury.

Once the annual official business is complete, we look forward to welcoming our guest speaker who will now be Abby Cappleman with her Assistance Dog Chloe. (note: Kevin Drake, Wheelchair tennis player from Invictus Games has had to withdraw as he will be out of the UK)

We are fortunate that Abby Cappleman has agreed to be our keynote speaker. She is studying computing at college in Wellington, in Shropshire. She also has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. And thanks to her assistance dog, Chloe, she has the confidence to lead an independent life outside her home. 

Abby says “She’s very tolerant of my emotional meltdowns, she sits with me and licks me. She is perfect for me.”

Abby has also created a Facebook account called Chloe the Assistance Dog, where she posts their experiences.

According to the charity organisation, Assistance Dogs UK, more than 7,000 disabled people in the UK rely on an assistance dog to help with practical tasks as well as offering emotional support and independence.

Abby has made a video to demonstrate the things her assistance dog can do for her.  She has also filmed some of the less positive encounters she’s had while out with her dog.

We hope you will come and hear her tell her story at the University Centre, Shrewsbury on 6th September 2018. 10.30 am refreshments/networking for an 11 am start, finish 1 pm.

For further information, please contact Ann, our secretary by email [email protected] or call/text  07398 350 255

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Do you have an assistance dog to help you in your daily life?

There are 8 main charities that provide assistance dogs to help people in their daily lives.

They are: Canine Partners, Dog A.I.D, Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs (for Deaf People), Dogs for Good, Medical Detection Dogs, Support Dogs (Training Dogs for Transforming Lives) and The Seeing Dogs Alliance.

Dogs are also provide by other places, depending on individual need. (ie a local council) In addition there are self trained dogs. This means they have trained their dog to meet their own physical, mental or other needs. These dogs and their owners should be treated equally.

The Law: 

Guide dog and assistance dog owners have important rights under the Equality Act 2010 (EA). The EA provides for people with disabilities to have the same right to services supplied by shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants as everyone else.

Under Part 12 of the EA it is also illegal for assistance dog owners to be refused access to a taxi or minicab with their assistance dog. Medical exemptions are available if drivers have a certificate from their GPs.

Service providers also have to make “reasonable adjustments” for guide dog and assistance dog owners.

Shropshire Disability Network are receiving an increased number of cases, where people have been discriminated against because they have an assistance dog. We would like to know, if you have been treated unfairly. Tell us by email at [email protected] or call/text 07780 852229. If need be and you want us to, we will report Disability Hate Crimes on your behalf.

Here are two publications that are worth reading:

Assistance Dogs a Guide for All Businesses: This link enables you to download this booklet-

Assistance Dogs Leaflet download herenew-dogs-assistance-leaflet This leaflet has been produced for London Transport but is relevant to all.


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Hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy review

Shropshire Council are consulting on “Hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy review. This consultation ends on Sunday 2nd September 2018. This consultation includes vehicles which are defined as “wheelchair accessible”.

Details of the consultation can be found here: We want to encourage our members as individual to take part in this, and if we get enough feedback indicating you would also like us to submit a “collective voice” reply on behalf of our members at Shropshire Disability Network, please contact us. If you would like us to do that on your behalf, please let Ann our Secretary know by email at [email protected] or text/call 07398 350255 Useful documents to download regarding the consultation: Note this one requires a separate reply to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy 2019-2023.


Blue Badge Scheme to be extended

Shropshire Disability Network welcomes the recent announcement that the blue badge scheme is to be extended to those people with “hidden disabilities” This is the biggest overhaul to the system in 40 years,  offering accessible parking to those who find travel more difficult. People with hidden disabilities, including autism and mental health conditions will soon have access to Blue Badges, removing the barriers many face to travel. The Department for Transport will now work with stakeholders to develop new guidance to help them administer their Blue Badge schemes when these changes come into force.

Click here to watch a short video:

To read the full article about this announcement, click this link:

Earlier this year, we shared and encouraged our members to take part in the government consultation proposing changing the eligibility criteria for the Blue Badge scheme to include people with non-physical conditions. The consultation, which ran from 21 January 2018 to 8 March 2018, received more than 6,000 responses from across the country.

We thank those of you who took part in the consultation and helped to bring this important change.


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PRH -Shropshire Disability Network Awareness Day

Courtesy of the League of Friends at the Princess Royal Hospital, on Thursday 2nd August between 10 am and 3 pm, Shropshire Disability Network will be back in the foyer to raise awareness of their work.  They will have leaflets available for you to take away and you also get the opportunity to talk to us & sign up as a member which is FREE! 

Items made by our members will be on sale at very reasonable prices. We always have a stock of second hand books.

All monies raised will be used to progress their work across the county of Shropshire to help people with a disability access the information they need, provide a website, newsletter & more. Much of their work goes unseen as signposting is often confidential. They are a small charity run by volunteers and doing a huge amount of work.

For further information call/text  Ann, our Secretary on 07398 350255 (SDN Secretary Mobile Number) or email [email protected]

Caring for God's Acre

Do you enjoy looking at Nature? Read on

Shropshire Disability Network members will remember Caring for God’s Acre having a stand at one of our meetings. Last month, they will have heard about an interesting opportunity. But for members not at either meeting, what is Caring for God’s Acre all about? 

The Beautiful Burial Ground project is managed by Caring for God’s Acre, a charity dedicated to promoting the management of burial grounds for nature conservation and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Its aim is to inspire, engage and support interest groups, communities and individuals to learn about, research and survey the biodiversity and heritage of their local burial grounds.

Caring for God’s Acre are giving members of Shropshire Disability Network the opportunity to explore the old Longden Road Cemetery in Shrewsbury, through an organised visit with the Beautiful Burial Ground team and a local wildlife expert to discover what is so special about these green spaces in the heart of every community.

The date: Thursday 23rd August. Time: 1 pm-3 pm. Cost: Free

If you would like to book a place (there is a limit of 20 places) please email Ann, SDN Secretary [email protected] or call/text 07398 350 255 

This is an excellent opportunity for our members. As explained at our June meeting, there are many things we can look at ie flowers, moths, butterflies, and wildlife plus listen to the birds… If you are concerned about transport to take part, please do not be put off, send us an email or call us, as Caring for God’s Acre will be able to assist with this. 


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Would you like a table at our Table Top Sale?

Shropshire Disability Network are giving charities the opportunity to have a table at our Table Top Sale on Saturday 23rd June at Lindale Court, Copthorne Road, Shrewsbury.

For £5 this gives you an opportunity to bring in some funds for your charity. To book your table call 07398 350 255 (SDN Secretary Mobile Number) or SDN 07780 852229 or email [email protected] 

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No dogs allowed, but what about my assistance dog?

Shropshire Disability Network share this story from BBC new. We would like to know if you have experienced similar to Abby. 

Local student, Abby Cappleman is studying computing at college in Wellington, in Shropshire. She has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. And thanks to her assistance dog, Chloe, she has the confidence to lead an independent life outside her home. 

Click this link to find out what happened to Abby when she visited a shop in Shrewsbury.

If you have had similar experiences, whether you have an assistance dog, hearing dog or guide dog, please leave us a comment in the box at the end of this article or email your experience to: [email protected]  Shropshire Disability Network would like know if you have had similar problems, we will not disclose who you are unless you ask us to.

We would also like to point out that it is your legal right to take your assistance dog into shops, schools and other places.(Equality Act 2010) Every shopkeeper has to make reasonable adjustments. As part of our work, we need to highlight and publicise and educate people in “rights” around disability.  

Click here to watch and hear what police officer (PCSO Marie) said to the shopkeeper.